I first heard about Eckhart Tolle about a year ago.  Actually I’d heard of him way before that because of Oprah and all, but I didn’t know what this whole “Power of Now” was all about until my family member starting talking to me about it.  My dad was first one to start talking about “being present.”  I had no idea what he was talking about so I just tuned him out.  Not having to listen to the lectures of one’s parents is one of the benefits of being 43 and living away from home. 

The next family member who started talking about Tolle was my youngest brother John.  I gave John slightly more attention than I did Dad, but otherwise wrote the whole thing off.  I just figured this was another one of those new agey things my brother and his wife were into. 

The family member who actually got me to stop and think was my brother Harlan.  The idea of Harlan actually reading–an entire book no less—got my attention.  When he told me how simple the whole thing was and how it changed his whole perception on life I decided to give it a try.  

I got about 100 pages into A New Earth before I put it down.  Where was all the simplicity everyone was talking about?  The book made absolutely no sense to me.  This Tolle fellow actually suggested that people stop thinking so much, which seemed incomprehensible to me.  How could one simply not think?  If anything I felt like I didn’t think enough.  I put the book away (or rather, I removed it from my e-reader) and went back to reading vampire novels. 

It wasn’t until a few months later when I had a revelation.  Whether provoked by what I had already heard and read or simply something I discovered on my own I will never know (and Tolle would probably say it doesn’t matter anyway) but in the very un-dramatic moment it happened something inside me clicked. 

I was at home washing dinner dishes and as per usual I was fretting about a work thing.  Anyone who knows me knows that I always have a work worry.  Work worries are a constant thorn in my side.  They keep me up at nights and ruin entire weekends.  I hate them!  And that night as I was doing dishes it suddenly occurred to me that I should stop thinking about work all the time because it was a real drag.  And so I did.  I simply turned the work thoughts off.  It was amazing! 

Granted, the thoughts would eventually start creeping back in, but when I noticed them I would turn them off again.  I kept this up for a few weeks and then started mentioning it to my brothers.  “That’s what Eckhart Tolle is talking about,” they said. 

So I picked up the book again.  Well not really.  I picked up a copy of The Power of Now because I found out that Tolle wrote that book first and I always like to go in chronological order when possible, even with self-help books.  And suddenly the whole thing made complete sense…not thinking so much…concentrating on the present moment…even the concept of being present.  It all made complete sense to me and I’ve been practicing it all ever since. 

It hasn’t been a complete transformation.  I have a long way to go. I won’t bore you all with all my thoughts on being present and acceptance.  I’ll save that for future postings that people are free to ignore.  My point is at least now I know what all the hoopla is all about. 

  • Daniel Stapleford:

    Cool story! I’ve been thinking about sending my parents a copy of one of the two books.

  • Lady Jessop:

    Thanks for reading Daniel! These books are good gifts.

  • I have a couple of Tolle books on audiobook. Since I am in my car a lot I like to keep some books like that on CD in my car so I can listen to something positive if I start creeping into worry-wart mode.

  • Lady Jessop:

    Oooh, Tolle on audiobook in the car sounds like a fabulous idea.

    Thanks for stopping by Juliana! Looking forward to reading more on your blog.

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